As traditional jobs disappear, high school students attending a career showcase have been told to adapt or be left behind.
As the annual World of Work Showcase was launched at the Frank Collymore Hall, its managing director and event coordinator Dennis de Peiza said the programme is focused on building a productive workforce.
He told the audience: “It is critical now more than ever that our young people are schooled about the culture of work and the expectations and demands of the workplace.”
Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw told the participants that workplace demands are now being shaped by the fourth revolution’s technological advancements in which the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres are blurred.
She said: “The workplace is therefore dramatically different from what was held a few decades ago.
“Whether it is the application process or the interview, the Internet has transformed how people network as well as how they will search for jobs.
“Social media is being used to screen potential employees quickly and effortlessly.
“Geographical barriers have been broken down and the use of the phone and the video interviews now mean we can apply for jobs anywhere in the world.
“In the workplace, the way we communicate as well as the way we store information has also changed.
“Emails have replaced typed notes and cloud storage is replacing the traditional filing system.”
The Education Minister also revealed that in her own ministry, technology became a major tool for communication during the months she spent overseas being treated for breast cancer.
She told the students preparing to leave school that flexible working arrangements were becoming the norm and more people will be expected to be freelancers in the future to fill jobs that did not exist ten or 20 years ago.
Bradshaw said: “In ten years it is expected that 60 per cent of all jobs will be new. What is also interesting to note is that although the skills for the future will demand the acquisition of technological skills, there is the parallel need to acquire the soft skills as will.
“Those are the personal qualities that help us to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.”
Participants in the World of Work Showcase will be given the opportunity to join the Job Start Plus programme of the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations and engage in a year of employment to assist with work experience.